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Consumer confidence increases in London

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Consumer confidence in London has risen for the first time since May, according to a report.

The capital’s reading for consumer confidence went up two points from minus 29 in August to minus 27 in September, as people became more optimistic about the state of the economy.

GfK NOP’s research shows consumer confidence in London remains higher than the national average, which increased by one point to reach minus 30.

However, London’s reading is still 14 points lower than in September last year, when consumer confidence was measured at minus 13. Across the country, confidence is 10 points below last year’s reading, when it was measured at minus 20.

The overall reading takes into account increasing confidence in the general economic situation and personal finances over the next 12 months, along with the climate for significant purchases.

GfK NOP Social Research managing director Nick Moon said: “The index’s one point rise this month is not statistically significant, but it is psychologically important as it halts the decline of recent months. In fact, despite growing fears about the global economy, British consumers are feeling a little more hopeful about the state of the home economy.”

People in the capital remain gloomy about their financial situation over the last 12 months, with the research recording a measurement of minus 19. However, this is some five points above the national average of minus 24.

Londoners were also more optimistic than the average person in the UK about the state of their personal finances over the next 12 months. People in the capital recorded a measurement of minus two, higher than the national average of minus 10.

The improvement in consumer confidence has occurred despite concerns over the ongoing eurozone debt crisis and the health of the US economy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week cut its estimate of the UK’s GDP growth in 2011 to 1.1 per cent, down from the 1.7 per cent it predicted in April.

Meanwhile, a Nationwide survey found turbulence on the world markets and the UK riots had knocked consumer confidence.

The lack of consumer confidence has hit the retail sector hard, with a number of high street stores falling into administration, while others have closed shops.

Moon said: “With economic growth effectively stalled at the moment, retailers would welcome more high street activity, although if consumers are buying German fridges and Japanese cars, this would create quite different problems for the UK economy.”




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